I don’t think I’ve ever been thought of as ugly, but I’m no model. There were even days when I was called nice looking – a few weeks or so back in 1981. Small window for sure, but young and thin and I thought ohhh yeah, I’m hot… Those few good weeks are long gone.
Still, I’m like some of my friends. Some mornings I look in the mirror and think hey, not so bad for a guy in his early fifties! Ohhh yeah, I’m hot…
Other mornings I look in the mirror and think hey, look what the cat coughed up.
That particular Saturday morning was a cat cougher. I was up early to run errands, hadn’t slept well, and I’d eaten Chinese food the night before. My favorite, #17 with extra broccoli, tends to make my face resemble a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon.
My puffy eyes and I set off to do errands and I resigned myself to the fact that I was a bloated sack of hideousness. But, I’d just turned 50 after all, so I guessed it was to be expected. I knew I shouldn’t have eaten Chinese food the night before and I felt guilty and disgusted for having done that to myself.
I sought solace in an apple pie from the fast food store on the corner.
Heading onto the highway to start my errands, I quickly stuck the apple pie in my mouth and held it there. I drove with one hand and used the other hand to search for change for the toll.
When I approached the toll booth I gnawed off a hunk of pie off as I yanked it from my mouth. I stopped at the toll booth feeling particularly swollen and handed the attendant the change. I noticed she was a young woman, very attractive, but with a stern look on her face.
Until she reached to take my change.
She smiled when I stopped, smiled more as she looked me in face, and then smiled even wider. I smiled back, handed her the change, and drove off.
Smugly, I started to think hey, not so bad for a guy in his early fifties. Ohhh yeah, I’m hot.
Maybe my eyes weren’t so puffy and maybe I had gotten enough sleep. To mentally high-five myself for having made the young lady smile, I pulled down the rear view mirror to check myself out. I had to see what had made her smile.
I saw it.
A slab of pie crust stuck to my lip and chin, held in place with apple filling that had already dripped several times onto my neck.
Ohhh yeah, I’m hot.
Stuart M. Perkins